Changes to the F1 calendar for 2007

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Jenson Button, Williams-BMW, Suzuka, 2000, 2The 2007 F1 calendar appears to have been firmed up and once again the number of races has been cut.

We take a look at the events that have been chopped and changed including the loss of one round each for Italy and Germany – coinciding with the retirement of Michael Schumacher – and the sad loss of the mighty Suzuka.

 DateGrand PrixCircuit
118/3AustraliaMelbourne Park
28/4MalaysiaSepang International Circuit
315/4BahrainBahrain International Circuit, Sakhir
413/5SpainMontmelo, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
527/5MonacoMonte-Carlo
610/6CanadaCircuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal
717/6USAIndianapolis
81/7FranceCircuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours
98/7BritainSilverstone
1022/7GermanyNurburgring
115/8HungaryHungaroring
1226/8TurkeyIstanbul Park
139/9ItalyMonza
1416/9BelgiumSpa-Francorchamps
1530/9JapanFuji Speedway
167/10ChinaShanghai International Circuit
1721/10BrazilAut????dromo Jos??? Carlos Pace, Interlagos, Sao Paulo

There are four major changes to the calendar for 2007:

  • The return of the Belgian Grand Prix at magnificent Spa-Francorchamps
  • The loss of the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola
  • The loss of the European Grand Prix and with it the relocation of the German Grand Prix from the Hockenheimring to the Nurburgring
  • And the switch of venues for the Japanese Grand Prix from the high-speed sweeps of Honda’s Suzuka to the Toyota’s revised Fuji Speedway

Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Start, 2006The 2006 calendar suffered from various outside influences: the Commonwealth Games that caused the delaying of the Australian and the World Cup which necessitated a re-jig of some European races.

Those having passed, the 2007 calendar reverts back to something closer to the 2005 schedule. Australia is the first round again but now Spain instead of San Marino will open the ‘European season’.

The British and French races pair up as a double-header again amid speculation that they may eventually share a single slot on the calendar, alternating Grands Prix each year, though Silverstone’s owners are not convinced by the plan.

As a result there will only be 17 stops on the 2007 tour – a further step back from the high watermark of 19 two years ago. The public appetite for more races is pitted against the teams’ reluctance to supply them.

It is less than half the number of races in the 2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup (which had 36) at a time when F1’s appeal to fans and drivers compared to NASCAR is coming under greater scrutiny.

Scott Speed, Scuderia Toro Rosso-Cosworth, Nurburgring, 2006There are also some worryingly long gaps in the 2007 calendar, mainly due to the dropping of the San Marino and European races.

There will be two three-week breaks, after the Australian and Hungarian races (the latter being the semi-traditional ‘August break). Worse, there will be a four week delay between the Bahrain and Spanish Grand Prix, leading some people to believe an 18th race might yet be slotted in in place of the San Marino round.

Let’s hope it happens because, with a very long off-season compared to other sports and some large holes in the calendar, F1 does not have as commanding a presence in the sports schedules that many feel it should.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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One comment on “Changes to the F1 calendar for 2007”

  1. I don’t know who to back now Micheal has left I am glad that the sport seems safer now

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